A beautiful starry pre-dawn as I set off around the marina grounds this morning, in fact with temperatures in the low teens it was more like summer than autumn. Well over 100 birds in the Pied Wagtail roost but still to dark to do the hawthorn or adjacent fields justice, although Tree Sparrow, Linnet and Song Thrush all heard.
|One of two Rock Pipit today.|
I arrived at Draycote Water around 7:15am and once up on the bank didn't take long to locate the Great Skua out towards the middle. The usual Meadow Pipits were flitting around and one or two early Skylarks overhead, a Sparrowhawk had a half hearted attempt at a few Mipits but left empty handed. Richard and Dave arrived a short time after and we took a slow stroll up towards Farborough Spit. Although species weren't too varied there was lots of activity with small flocks of Starlings and Thrushes moving through. Redwing, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and a single Golden Plover, calling desperately in the hope of finding it's mates, were all noted.
Bob and Keith Foster caught up and after Richard and Dave departed for the Skylark Cafe mega breakfast I continued on. Only planning a walk to the hide and back I ended up completing a full circuit with the intrepid Bob and Keith.
It wasn't a bad circuit in quite pleasant conditions with of note: Chiffchaff (4), Treecreeper (1), Rock Pipit (2), Grey Wagtail (2), Raven (4), Buzzard (6), ♀Pintail and a couple of drake Goldeneye, one of which a 1st winter juvenile. A few butterflies on the wing with Peacock, Red Admiral and Brimstone all recorded.